March 20, 2023

Mayor Benjamin Magalong filed another complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against the head of the Baguio City District Engineering Office-Department of Public Works and Highways alleging graft practices in the construction of a bridge in Baguio City.
It will be the fourth case filed against officials of the BCDEO-DPWH with the first three filed last year.
In his 11-page affidavit, Magalong charged BCDEO-DPWH District Engineer Rene Zarate of violating Section 3 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in relation with the alleged irregularities in the construction of a road bridge from Parapad Village, North Sanitary Camp barangay going to Magsaysay Avenue.
The complaint involves the project titled “Network Development-Construction of By-pass and Diversion Roads: Magsaysay Ave. to Rimando Road-Ambiong By-pass, Including Bridge and Row, Baguio City” with a contract amount of P88,099,659.56 given a notice to proceed on April 29, 2018 and completed on Aug. 21, 2019.
Magalong alleged “there was improper construction and/or use of substandard materials and this was clearly made known and was brought to the attention of the respondent (Zarate),” based on his site inspection with the personnel of the City Engineering Office on January 2021.
On Jan. 6, another inspection was conducted by the CEO and found the improper construction and/or use of substandard materials remained the same.
The CEO noted poor workmanship in its memorandum report dated Jan. 7, with observations such as: transverse cracks along the sidewalk; inconsistent sidewalk finish presentation; peeled off-road curb painting and pavement markings; uneven concrete barrier surface; water ponding along the pavement and sidewalk; cracks along the pavement; concrete corner alignment and finish; unpresentable wall opening; no proper drainage catchment for the drains; exposed rebar; leftover plywood forms; unpresentable concrete manhole cover; gaps between the concrete cover siding and the manhole; short length of stiffener; and lost street light.
Magalong said “from the results of the investigations/inspection, and assessment, it was evident that there was improper construction and/or use of substandard materials.”
“Worst, despite the knowledge of these improper construction and/or use of substandard materials, this was simply brushed aside by the public respondent up to date. The improper construction and/or use of substandard materials were never corrected, was tolerated, and was accepted,” the complaint stated which caused “undue injury to any party, including the government.”
Magalong wants administrative disciplinary action, without prejudice to criminal and civil liabilities such as disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines and to the Filipino people. – PIO release